Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Google update your Android stock browser!

Wow, just wow... That Android stock browser really sucks. Why? Let me tell you why.

First of all, we are talking about Google. Google's main browser is Chrome, why on earth do we need another browser? Like we're having Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Firefox and some other minor browsers and Google thinks its a good idea to introduce another crappy browser? Thanks that's another test situation for me!

Secondly, the stock browser doesn't update automatically. Neither does Google actively push updates for the stock browser. So we're talking about a significant amount of smartphones and tablets with a really old stock browser that doesn't update. This is a major problem for hybrid mobile developers.

Let me clarify this further, its very important that browsers keep up with the Html5 standard. Html5 is introduced with a lot of new and fancy features that are extremely useful for hybrid mobile apps, such as: Local Storage, Semantics and Forms and CSS3. All these features are not or very buggy supported by the Android stock browser, all because of no or slow updates.

Look at this graph, you can see that the Android stock browser got updates from June 2011(Android 2.3) till January 2012(Android 4.0), and then it just stopped. The Android stock browser is dead in the water from January 2012 till this day. Google says it has been replaced with Chrome but Chrome is not available in hybrid apps, we're stuck with the old stock browser.

Google would make the life of developers a lot easier when they stop using the stock browser and make Chrome available for hybrid apps. Unfortunately this won't fix everything, Google build up and enormous amount of smartphone/tablets users that use a legacy browser. It will take several years before we can drop the support for that kind of devices.

Thanks Google you've created the new IE 6 and almost eliminated hybrid apps.